Scale of racial bias in Britain revealed

5 December, 2018


The Guardian has published the results of a poll which gives a picture of racial bias in Britain.

The report shows that people from ethnic minorities are more likely than white people to report a set of negative experiences linked to unconscious bias.

The poll focuses on everyday experiences of prejudice that could result from unconscious bias and was commissioned following concerns over a shortage of research capturing the views of minority groups.

1,000 black, Asian and minority ethnic people and 1,797 white people were polled and in every case the minority respondents were more likely to report a negative experience.

The results are particularly valuable as they avoid the subjective question of whether the respondent attributed the experience to racial bias. This is achieved by only asking if they experienced each scenario and not asked why they had experienced it.

Voscur is a key contributor to Bristol’s race equality efforts; in particular our Chief Executive is on the Bristol Commission for Race Equality. In 2015, we were instrumental in bringing about the Bristol Manifesto for Race Equality otherwise known as “Batook’s Blueprint” and have commissioned research and supported equalities work since.

For us, the data released by the Guardian shows that there is still a long way to go before true equality is achieved and we will continue to work towards this with the local authority and campaign groups in Bristol.

Some of the stand-out results from the poll include:

  • Over 43% of those form a minority ethnic background have been overlooked for promotion in a way that they felt unfair in the last five years; that’s more than twice the number of white people who reported a similar experience.
  • Those from ethnic minorities are three times as likely to have been thrown out of or denied entry to a restaurant, bar or club in the last five years.
  • 38% of people from ethnic minorities said that they had been wrongly suspected of shoplifting in the last five years, compared to 14% of white people.
  • Minorities were more than twice as likely to have encountered abuse or rudeness from a stranger in the last week.
  • 53% of people from a minority background believed they had been treated differently because of their hair, clothes or appearance, compared with 29% of white people.
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